From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-As the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001, approaches, it brings with it a time for profound reflection. Rhodes's new novel offers a way to discuss the events of 9/11 with children too young to remember this pivotal event. This well-paced novel follows Deja, a fifth grader whose father suffers from a chronic cough, depression, and anxiety, all of which prevent him from maintaining a job. As a result, Deja and her family have lost their apartment and are now living in a group home in Brooklyn. When Deja begins at a new school, she makes friends with a Muslim girl and a boy whose father is an Iraq War veteran. When their teacher begins a lesson about September 11, the three friends learn how the day's events relate to them as individuals and as part of their wider community. This is a welcome contribution to children's literature, on a topic not many authors have broached for this age group, and it will function well as a teaching tool. It reads easily and offers educators the opportunity to not only address the events of September 11 from a historical perspective but also from a social one. Themes include community, diversity, and socioeconomic disparities. VERDICT Recommended as an addition to middle grade collections and as a classroom group reading title to help facilitate classroom conversations about 9/11.-Pilar Okeson, Washington DC Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for Towers Falling:
"History made personal-
-and what a person! Deja's voice is real and memorable
, her compelling story
one of hope unmarred by sentimentality."
―Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author
"This tender retelling
of tragedy is a solid vessel to help young readers understand the gravity of 9/11 and how it touches all Americans, no matter where we come from. "
"This is a welcome contribution to children's literature
."―School Library Journal
"Rhodes approaches a complex, painful topic with insight and grace
, providing context to an event distant to the book's audience."